Humanizing Business with Stories

During the first week of April, I had the opportunity visit Smith College, where I did my undergraduate degree.  I was there to talk to Anthropology majors, speak to a Methods class (Anthropology with a sprinkling of Design Thinking), and deliver a public lecture. It was great to be back on campus and interact with the super smart and motivated women there.

For this final public lecture, I was focused on helping students and local guests understand a bit about how I got to where I am today.  I spoke with them about what it’s like to work in the high tech / consulting industry, the differences between Big Data and Small Data (with some examples from project work), the power of storytelling, and the benefits of bringing both anthropology and design to the table to solve the toughest problems in business.

Introduction (22:21)

Some Examples, The Power of Story (16:57)

Ethnographies Are Stories (18:39)

Anthropology + Design (31:55)

Excerpts from this presentation (especially the final section) will be part of a paper I’m working on for a special issue of the Journal of Business Anthropology.  So, I’d love to hear your perspective and feedback on my thinking before I put it all in print.  Please post your comments below, or drop me an email.

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